Staples like grilled chicken breasts and brown rice are still popular choices to fuel performance, but today's athletes are looking for new great tasting options that provide a competitive edge.
For New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich, selecting protein derives from something he learned from Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan: "The [fewer] legs it has the better…and fish obviously have none, so it's probably the best for us [athletes]."
The American Heart Association recommends adding seafood to your diet at least twice a week. A standard three-ounce portion of salmon, tuna or halibut delivers 25 grams of protein. (Learn more about the benefits of eating fish.)
Besides being an extremely lean protein source, fish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce muscle soreness after workouts. Omega-3s also help improve brain function by boosting short-term memory.
Want to focus better late in games and avoid soreness later on? For your next post-workout or post-game meal, try Herzlich's personal recipe for Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa.
Recipe notes: Halibut is high in omega-3s but less fishy tasty then salmon or tuna. Hot spices like paprika and peppers like jalapeños also fight muscle inflammation. Mangoes help replenish the salts, vitamins and energy lost through physical exercise. Mangoes are also high in vitamin B6, a major part of the hormone serotonin, which helps regulate anxiety levels.
For the tacos you'll need:
- 2 6-ounce halibut fillets
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoning like paprika or hot chili pepper
- Jalapeños and bell peppers
- 4 8-inch whole-wheat flour tortillas
- 1 cup mixed salad greens
For the salsa you'll need:
- ½ cup mango
- ½ cup tomato
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- To prepare the salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss well.
- To prepare the tacos, preheat pan coated with cooking spray; sauté peppers, then add fish; sprinkle evenly with seasoning and cook six minutes each side or until fish flakes with a fork.
- Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each taco with ¼ cup greens and ¼ cup salsa.
Serve immediately with a healthy side like black beans or brown rice. Serves two.
Want more on Herzlich? Check out How Mark Herzlich Regained His Form With Trigger Point Performance Therapy and the Everything to Prove Episode 19: Part 1 and Part 2.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock